Monday, 7 January 2008


I leave you this fine evening with a blog post by Victor Davis Hanson. “Mass deportation” is a red herring. Illegal aliens will be deported as they are discovered. I’m reminded of the typical student comment when we discuss Peter Singer’s book Animal Liberation. They ask what will happen when tens of thousands of cows, pigs, and chickens are liberated.


Here is your entertainment for this evening. Listen to the lyrics. This song takes me back to 1989 in Great Falls, Montana. The guitar in this song defies description. This song breaks my heart. I’ve never been a big fan of R.E.M., but I’ve always loved this song. I saw Def Leppard in 1981 at Pine Knob Music Theater in Michigan, as the opening act for Ozzy Osbourne. The musicians were little more than kids, but I knew they were going places. At 35 seconds into this song, when the bass comes in, the bottom falls out. Back to the football game.

Addendum: Okay! Okay! I’ve been bombarded with requests for something by Diamond Dave.

The Contest

I can’t wait. It’s going to be ruthless. There will be brutal hits, recriminations, accusations of cheating, shady plays, name-calling, dirty tricks, and trash talk. Everything is on the line. No, I’m not talking about tonight’s football game between LSU and Ohio State. I’m talking about tomorrow’s New Hampshire primary.

G. E. M. Anscombe (1919-2001) on the Principle of Double Effect

The distinction between the intended, and the merely foreseen, effects of a voluntary action is indeed absolutely essential to Christian ethics. For Christianity forbids a number of things as being bad in themselves. But if I am answerable for the foreseen consequences of an action or refusal, as much as for the action itself, then these prohibitions will break down. If someone innocent will die unless I do a wicked thing, then on this view I am his murderer in refusing: so all that is left to me is to weigh up evils. Here the theologian steps in with the principle of double effect and says: “No, you are no murderer, if the man’s death was neither your aim nor your chosen means, and if you had to act in the way that led to it or else do something absolutely forbidden.” Without understanding of this principle, anything can be—and is wont to be—justified, and the Christian teaching that in no circumstances may one commit murder, adultery, apostasy (to give a few examples) goes by the board. These absolute prohibitions of Christianity by no means exhaust its ethic; there is a large area where what is just is determined partly by a prudent weighing up of consequences. But the prohibitions are bedrock, and without them the Christian ethic goes to pieces. Hence the necessity of the notion of double effect.

(G. E. M. Anscombe, “War and Murder,” chap. 3 in Absolutism and Its Consequentialist Critics, ed. Joram Graf Haber [Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 1994], 29-40, at 37 [essay first published in 1961])

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

If one needed any doubt that 1984 has truly arrived, “Paris Isn’t Burning,” by Corinne Maier (Op-Ed, Dec. 30), provides the proof positive. In it, she manages to convey exquisitely the Orwellian “freedom is slavery” message, equating tobacco addiction and air pollution with freedom and linking the consumption of the lethal products of the world’s most powerful multinational corporations with resistance.

I am sure that the tobacco industry was pleased. But the millions worldwide who suffer before suffocating to death from tobacco-related diseases, sacrificing themselves and their families for the sake of this industry’s profits, will probably fail to appreciate the irony.

Ruth Malone
Oakland, Calif., Dec. 31, 2007

Note from KBJ: I don’t care whether people smoke, but they had best keep their smoke out of my face.

Health Care

Here is a Wall Street Journal editorial opinion that makes sense of the Democrat health-care debate. It’s petty of the editorial board not to mention Paul Krugman,* when it’s clearly alluding to his recent columns on the topic.

* “Op-Ed columnist Paul Krugman has the disturbing habit of shaping, slicing and selectively citing numbers in a fashion that pleases his acolytes but leaves him open to substantive assaults” (Daniel Okrent, “13 Things I Meant to Write About but Never Did,” The New York Times, 22 May 2005).

Best of the Web Today



It all ends tonight
In the N’awlins Superdome
OSU prevails

A Year Ago


Capital Punishment

The editorial board of the New York Times continues to rant about the awfulness of the death penalty. Why is it that the board never mentions the victims of the murderers for whom it cries crocodile tears? There are victims, you know. They were innocent people like you and me whose lives were snuffed out by brutal killers who showed no concern for the victims’ lives or pain. They had families, friends, neighbors, and colleagues; they had projects, enjoyments, activities, and experiences. Did they suffer? How much, and for how long? What were their last moments like? Here are some details of the cases:

The appeal was filed by two Kentuckians who received death sentences for double murders. Ralph Baze was convicted of the shooting murders of a sheriff and a deputy sheriff in Powell County, Ky., in 1992, when they were trying to serve felony warrants on him from Ohio. They were killed execution-style. Thomas C. Bowling was convicted of the shooting murders of a couple, and wounding their two-year-old son, as the victims sat inside their car in a business parking lot in Lexington, Ky., in 1990. Bowling had run into their car with his vehicle, got out and shot the three, and then fled the scene.

Why do you suppose the board didn’t mention any of this?


John Hawkins of Right Wing News has compiled his annual list of the 20 Most Annoying Liberals in the United States. You mean there’s a liberal who’s not annoying?

From the Mailbag

Senator McGovern:

In your commentary, there are these words:

he continued to lie

Perhaps you will be willing to read Logic Cop Asks, “Is Bush a Liar?”

Victor D. Ulmer
Duluth, Minnesota